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Psych Takes on The Mentalist: Like Fruit Loops to Fruity Loop-Os

James Roday, Dule Hill, Psych Alan Zenuk/USA Network

Starving for Psych? Hungering after Gus and Shawn (to quote the pseudo-psychic detective) "the way a jackal salivates after an injured possum"? Well prepare yourselves, fans of delicious flavor, because the show that is one part ice cream and two parts awesomeness returns for a fourth season tonight at 10 p.m. on USA.

We spoke with the comical crime solvers themselves—James Roday (Shawn Spencer) and Dulé Hill (Burton Guster)—for clues on what to expect this season, including the first episode, and here's what they dished...

In "Extradition: British Columbia," the duo travel to the Great White North, not that far, really, when you consider that the Santa Barbara-set show is actually filmed in Vancouver. And, of course, what should have been a romantic getaway (more on that later) becomes a catch-a-thief caper. As Shawn exchanges barbs with The Princess Bride's Cary Elwes, reinventing Dread Pirate Roberts as notorious cat burglar Despereux, Gus realizes he was only invited on the trip to sub for Shawn's girlfriend, Abigail, who had to cancel at the last minute.

Yes, as we reported from Comic-Con, Rachael Leigh Cook returns this season as the psychic's ladylove. But show runner Steve Franks told us, "It's hard, because on our budget, we can only get so many guest stars, [so] she is back for a handful of episodes this year, and we talk about her in the episodes she's not in."

Actually, the fourth season has a full slate of guest stars. Along with Cook and Elwes, we'll see Sendhil Ramamurthy (that's where Mohinder's hiding: Vancouver!), James Brolin, American Werewolf in London's David Naughton in an episode that Roday says "proclaim[s] our love for" Naughton's lycanthrope flick and Ray Wise in a tribute to The Exorcist. (Sorry, the Twin Peaks show teased at Comic-Con has to wait until season five.)

So many episodes, so many seasons. And yet CBS launched its own fake psychic show just last year. Hmmm. What does Franks have to say about the Emmy-nominated (ouch!) Mentalist? He offers a wonderful breakfast analogy: "When you go to the cereal aisle in a grocery store, and you see Fruit Loops there. If you look down on the bottom, there's something that looks just like Fruit Loops, and it's in a different bag, and it's called Fruity Loop-Os."

But the best retort comes from Shawn and Gus themselves in describing their profession to a Canadian mountie:

Even if you prefer a healthy dose of pathos with your phony paranormalist procedurals, The Mentalist doesn't return again until the fall. The cereal serial killers can wait—turn that frown upside down with some witty Psychic whodunits.

Are you psyched for Psych? (Sorry for that.) What do you think of the Psych-Mentalist rivalry? Talk it out in the comments below.

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Missed our Psych story from Comic-Con? We got your link right here.

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